Quantcast

Posts Tagged ‘Sufjan Stevens’

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Stupid Things

Yo La Tengo are coming to town and this photo is hilarious

Photo via TwitterTwitterYo La Tengo haven’t quite spilled the beans on their thirteenth studio album, besides to acknowledge it exists, that recent single “Stupid Things” will appear on it albeit in a different version, that it was produced by Tortoise’s John McEntire, that it’ll be out in late January – the smart money is on the 29th, since the last week of the month is typically when the year’s first big releases are slated – and that a North American tour – of which only a few dates have been revealed – would follow. And while a tweet yesterday implied that today was the day for revelations, details on the Toronto show came yesterday – and so here they are: Hoboken’s finest will be at The Phoenix on February 9 – their first visit since October 2009, not counting their “Sounds Of Science” performance here in April. Tickets for that are $25 in advance and go on sale Friday.

While on the topic, I just finished reading Big Day Coning: Yo La Tengo and The Rise of Indie Rock. You might wonder how interesting a bio of a band that has been rather resolutely drama-free over its career could be, but it’s the understatedness of their story – plus the greatness of their music – and how it intertwines with the transformation of the underground to college to alternative to indie rock scene that makes it an interesting read.

I had hoped to get up this morning and find all the salient new album info conveniently collected in a press release in my inbox, but instead there was an email from the library telling me that the aforementioned book was a week overdue. Not quite the same thing. So I’ll update this post with specifics about the tour and release when they surface today – assuming they do – but in the meantime, marvel at the photo up above, picked up via Matablog, of Yo La Tengo with a trio of Japanese lookalikes. Don’t ask why or how, just marvel.

Update: And Matablog has it: Fade, out January 15, and tour starts the 23rd.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Stupid Things”
MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Nuclear War”

Keeping with the New Jersey theme, Titus Andronicus are interviewed by Beatroute, Boise Weekly, and Pitchfork and a couple more tracks from their latest Local Business are available to download. They’re at Lee’s Palace on November 27.

MP3: Titus Andronicus – “In A Big City”
MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Ecce Homo”

And if you were wondering what former Titus guitarist Amy Klein was up to, know that in addition to playing in Leda, she’s got a drum-and-guitar duo called Hilly Eye. Exclaim has some details on their debut album Reasons To Live, due January 22, and a couple of songs are available to stream.

Stream: Hilly Eye – “Jacob’s Ladder”
Stream: Hilly Eye – “Amnesia”

The Village Voice, Red Eye, and Seven Days have interviews with Sharon Van Etten.

Interview talks to Paul Banks about balancing the solo work with Interpol.

Nada Surf have released a video from their latest, The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy.

Video: Nada Surf – “Jules & Jim”

Some feel it’s still to early for Christmas music, but Sufjan Stevens is hoping that doesn’t apply to him. He’s made the whole of his six-EP Silver & Gold box set – that’s 58 tracks worth – available to stream and also released a couple more videos for good measure. It’s available to buy as of yesterday.

MP3: Sufjan Stevens – “Ding-A-Ling-A-Ring-A-Ling”
Video: Sufjan Stevens – “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”
Video: Sufjan Stevens – “Silver & Gold”
Stream: Sufjan Stevens / Silver & Gold

Pitchfork has details on the second album from Brooklyn’s Widowspeak; Almanac will be out on January 22 and the first MP3 from it is available to download.

MP3: Widowspeak – “Ballad Of The Golden Hour”

School Of Seven Bells are streaming the whole of their new EP Put Your Sad Down, released this week.

MP3: School Of Seven Bells – “Secret Days”
Stream: School Of Seven Bells / Put Your Sad Down

Filter talks to Grizzly Bear.

Ra Ra Riot are streaming the first track from their new record Beta Love, out January 22. They bring it to Lee’s Palace on March 6. There’s also a feature on the band at syracuse.com.

Stream: Ra Ra Riot – “Beta Love”

Head over to RecordStoreDay.com to stream the whole of Chocomel Daze, the You’re Living All Over Me-vintage Dinosaur Jr live record being released on vinyl-only next week.

Stream: Dinoaur Jr / Chocomel Daze

SF Weekly talks to Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs.

Jim James is done hiding behind bands and pseudonyms; he’ll release his solo debut Regions of Light and Sound of God on February 5 – details at Pitchfork and the first taste is streamable below.

Stream: Jim James – “Know Til Now”

The Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and Newsday talk to Aimee Mann, who has released a new video from her latest Charmer.

Video: Aimee Mann – “Soon Enough”

DIY interviews Benjamin Gibbard.

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

So Many Details

Toro Y Moi means, “new album and tour” in Spanish. Look it up.

Photo By Patrick JeffordsPatrick JeffordsIt’s still October, but for all intents and purposes, 2012 is over. How so? Not only is every new album being announced slated to come out in the new year, but pretty much every tour announcement as well. Still hoping that December dance card was going to fill up? Maybe get a jump on your Christmas shopping instead.

But at least you have something to look forward to, including the third album from South Carolinan electronic pop – let’s not call it electro-pop – artist Chaz Bundick, aka Toro Y Moi. Entitled Anything In Return, the follow-up to 2011’s Underneath The Pine will be out on January 22 and will be accompanied a week later by a month-long North American tour that takes him right around the continent, including a February 17 date at Lee’s Palace in Toronto, tickets for which will run you $20. Pitchfork has the full itinerary and the first track from the new record is available to download.

MP3: Toro Y Moi – “So Many Details”

Also coming out on January 22 is the third album from Syracuse, New York’s finest (and only?) indie rock ensemble Ra Ra Riot. It’s called Beta Love and is their first since the departure of cellist Alexandra Lawn, so it will be interesting to hear how that lineup change effects their sound. They’ve also got an extensive North American tour scheduled – with a slight detour to Japan – and will be at Lee’s Palace on March 6, tickets $18.50 in advance.

MP3: Ra Ra Riot – “Boy”

And while the official word on Local Natives’ second album and attendant tour came last week, the conspicuous lack of a Toronto date was addressed – as I predicted – this week, with the addition of a date at The Opera House on March 28. Tickets for that are $21.50.

MP3: Local Natives – “Sun Hands”

Sufjan Stevens has released a video from his Silver & Gold Christmas box set coming November 13, and while it is animated, it’s probably not for kids.

Video: Sufjan Stevens – “Mr. Frosty Man”

Wild Nothing have released a new video from their latest Nocturne that comes with a little celebrity flavour in the form of Michelle Williams. You know, that girl from Dawson’s Creek. No, the other one. Tangentially, you should all be watching Don’t Trust The B– In Apartment 23. Very tangentially.

Video: Wild Nothing – “Paradise”

A Place To Bury Strangers also have a new video taken from Worship.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “And I’m Up”

And between giving interviews to The 405 and Drowned In Sound, Paul Banks has rolled out a new clip from his solo record Banks.

Video: Paul Banks – “Young Again”

Interview and Creative Loafing interview Josh Tillman of Father John Misty, hutting up Lee’s Palace this Saturday night, October 27.

Tobin Sprout talks to Rolling Stone about a new song available to stream from the third Guided By Voices album of 2012, The Bears For Lunch. It’s out November 13.

Stream: Guided By Voices – “She Lives In An Airport”

While no fan of this “deluxe edition” trend going on for current albums, at least Sharon Van Etten is offering some good value. Consequence Of Sound reports that the double-disc edition of Tramp, out November 13, will come with a bonus disc of demos of every song on the album. And, if you’ve already bought it – which you should have – the demos will be available on their own CD. And that, folks, is how you do deluxe. One of the extras – a song not on the finished album – has been made available to stream. We Love DC also has an interview.

Stream: Sharon Van Etten – “Tell Me” (demo)

The Awl and Exclaim hang out with Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus. They’re at Lee’s Palace on November 27.

Stereogum and Rolling Stone talk to Jason Lytle, rolling into Massey Hall on December 5 opening for Band Of Horses.

The Cincinatti Enquirer, Chicago Tribune, Time Out Chicago, and City Pages interview members of The Afghan Whigs.

Blurt, Chicago Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal interview Divine Fits.

In conversation with Spinner, Ben Gibbard says that a second Postal Service record isn’t going to happen anytime soon and probably not ever.

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Sun

Cat Power, Willis Earl Beal, and Xray Eyeballs at The Kool Haus in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangEvery good thing you’ve heard about Cat Power live is true, and also a lie; the same goes for every bad thing. The reputation that Chan Marshall gained as a fragile, erratic performer over the first decade or so of her career may have seemed overstated to mythic proportions, but few have made great efforts to dispute it. I can’t speak from experience – though a modest fan since Moon Pix, I’d avoided seeing her in concert because of that reputation and reports from the Toronto shows I’d missed in that time seemed to bear out that I hadn’t missed much.

So it was with great surprise and pleasure that my first two Cat Power shows in Fall 2006 – an intimate solo show at Lee’s Palace and a full band performance at The Phoenix, both in support of The Greatest, were sublime experiences. The former had a few awkward moments though they were far outnumbered by the great ones, but the latter, powered by the Memphis Rhythm Band, was about as perfect as you could get. A subsequent show at the 2007 Rogers Picnic was far less assured – though she got the benefit of the doubt as that whole day was just weird – and the last time I saw her at Matador at 21, she again sounded great; any reservations were more about the continued absence of new material than the performance itself. So I was optimistic for her first Toronto show since early 2008 this past Saturday night, since it was coming in support of her game-changing and excellent new album Sun; surely the sass and confidence that went into crafting that record would translate live? It’d be a couple of support acts before we’d find out.

Leadoff hitters Xray Eyeballs may have hailed from Brooklyn, but their psychedelic garage rock sound was decidedly west coast in lineage. With guitarist O.J. San Felipe and bassist Carly Rabalais trading off lead vocals while laying down beds of fuzzy guitars, simple percussion, and whirring synths, their set wasn’t sophisticated but not amateurish, either. It wasn’t a new sound by any stretch nor was their take on it overly memorable, but decent enough for passing a half hour. Though a note to San Felipe – they’re called Straploks and you should look into them.

I’d heard many good things about Chicago’s Willis Earl Beal prior to his being a late but welcome addition as support for this tour – that he was a poet, a soul-singer, a visual artist, an eccentric, a philosopher, and a hell of a performer – but despite him having come through town twice already in support of his lauded debut Acousmatic Sorcery, I hadn’t had a chance to explore further and his being a late addition as support for this leg of the tour was welcome news. He took the stage not with a band but a couple of mannequins, and instead literally played to backing tapes – he had a reel-to-reel tape machine set up behind him, providing the musical backing for him to sing over.

And really, even if he’d brought a full orchestra with him, it’s unlikely anyone would have noticed as it was nigh impossible to take your eyes off of him once he got going. With a huge voice that could go from a soulfully supple to hitting like a sack of gravel, he sang like an avatar of manic desperation while pacing the stage and turning everything around him – the mic stand, the flag that had covered his tape machine, a folding chair, his clothes – into a performance prop and closing out with mic twirls whilst doing The Running Man. Using an artist as singular as Tom Waits as a reference point for any other performer is usually unwise as it’s far too high a bar for mortals to measure against, but for Willis Earl Beal? It’s both stylistically accurate and speaks to the man’s potential. Pretty much amazing.

That the intro music for Cat Power’s set was Bob Dylan’s “Shelter From The Storm” – it played twice, once when they band was scheduled to take the stage and again fifteen minutes later when they actually did – was telling. Just as Dylan has earled a reputation as a difficult live act, frequently inverting and rearranging his classic songs to the point of being unrecognizable, so to has Marshall taken to treating her songbook as raw material for crafting something new rather than as canon to be performed respectfully. Also unrecognizable was Marshall herself, following her band onstage in leather jacket and the short, spiky, blonde hairdo debuted in her video for “Cherokee” further punkified with shaved sides. That song opened the show, but rather than stay in character from the video and battle zombies, she instead did battle with the incense burning on stage, constantly fussing with it while singing and then turning her attention to the two mics set up for her – indistinguishable to the eye and ear – through “Sun”, and then the mic stands on “3, 6, 9”. To her credit, she mostly sounded alright while this was going on, if not as in key or articulate as one would like, but it was distracting to watch.

As has been typical for the past few years, Marshall eschewed guitar duties to concentrate on singing – and fussing – leaving her four-piece backing band to the music, and theirs was not an easy task. They had to give the songs enough structure so as to stay intact and relatively recognizable, yet allow Marshall the space to roam and improvise as she was wont to do. And this was where I saw where the crucial difference between this show and the Greatest show would be – in that setting, Marshall had to rein herself in to meet the supremely tight and professional standards of that veteran outfit, but here she was in charge and it was her players’ job to follow her, wherever she felt like going. While they stuck to the Sun material, things stayed fairly steady and onstage eccentrics aside – the incense/mic/stand fiddling and rambling banter persisted – the audience remained onside.

The middle portion of the set was probably more trying. A reading of the unreleased “Bully” found Marshall in her best voice of the evening to that point as being accompanied only by piano, being distracted wasn’t really an option, and from that she went into an almost operatic, dramatically backlit performance of Mexican icon Pedro Infante’s “Angelitos Negros” (a Jukebox bonus track), and then a half-speed, Moon Pix-skeletal version of “The Greatest” that traded almost all melody for a steadily building, almost ominous dynamic – an interesting interpretation, but perhaps not what an audience who’d been waiting over 10 minutes for something remotely familiar wanted.

It having been a half-decade since she’d toured an album of original material through town, most were probably hoping to hear more catalog material but given how it was being presented, they were probably thankful whenever the set returned to Sun and more familiar if recent sounds. When Marshall finally strapped on a guitar for “Silent Machine”, it was both invigorating and frustrating – for those four minutes, her Danelectro was like a lightning rod that channeled everything the band could be into that slinky, sexy, slide riff and they were tight and focused like they’d not been the rest of the show. And of course, while that was the only song that Marshall would play an instrument and the indisputable high point of the show, they did raise their game for a powerful “Nothin’ But Time” and “Peace and Love”. Lest the momentum keep going, however, they went back to You Are Free for a sprawling, deconstructed “I Don’t Blame You”, before again pulling it together for a strong “Ruin”. For the show’s close of I think “Rambling (Wo)man” – I can’t be sure – a fan handed Marshall a bouquet of flowers which she spend most of the song distributing amongst her band and then tossing, flower by flower, into the audience. And continuing in a giving theme, gave away a t-shirt and all the lyrics sheets she had on stage before requesting – and receiving – a fan’s Charlie Chaplin t-shirt.

It was a nice moment and close to a show that was, even to die-hard fans and apologists, uneven and oft frustrating. Though Marshall seemed in good spirits throughout and any performance where she doesn’t halt a song midway through to complain about the monitors or just walk right off is a positive one, for as long as she’s been doing this she should be much better. She can be and has been. But perhaps for an artist for whom, “is she alright?” is always a legitimate question – a brace of cancelled promotional appearances before the start of the tour was cause for concern, as was her tweet from the inside of an ambulance the afternoon of the show – perhaps overt fan service by way of her song selections and arrangements is too much to ask. Perhaps it’s enough that she’s again making great records, and that your odds of seeing a good show – while still obviously not even – are much better than they once were. At least she’s trying.

NOW, The National Post, and BlogTO were also on hand for the show.

Photos: Cat Power, Willis Earl Beal, Xray Eyeballs @ The Kool Haus – October 20, 2012
MP3: Cat Power – “Ruin”
MP3: Cat Power – “Cherokee”
MP3: Cat Power – “Manhattan”
MP3: Cat Power – “Metal Heart”
MP3: Cat Power – “The Greatest”
MP3: Cat Power – “He-War”
MP3: Cat Power – “Nude As The News”
MP3: Willis Earl Beal – “Monotony”
MP3: Willis Earl Beal – “Blue Escape”
MP3: Willis Earl Beal – “White Noise”
MP3: Xray Eyeballs – “Crystal”
MP3: Xray Eyeballs – “Egyptian Magician”
Video: Cat Power – “Cherokee”
Video: Cat Power – “King Rides By”
Video: Cat Power – “Living Proof”
Video: Cat Power – “Lived In Bars”
Video: Cat Power – “He War”
Video: Cat Power – “Crossbones Style”
Video: Willis Earl Beal – “Monotony”
Video: Xray Eyeballs – “X”
Video: Xray Eyeballs – “Crystal”

Sufjan Stevens has made one of the songs from his upcoming Silver & Gold Christmas song box set available for download. The set’s not out until November 13 so think of it like that one gift that you were allowed to open on Christmas Eve. It’s just like that.

MP3: Sufjan Stevens – “Ding-A-Ling-A-Ring-A-Ling”

Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus talks to Consequence Of Sound. They’re at Lee’s Palace on November 27.

Clash and The Oklahoman meet Band Of Horses, in town at Massey Hall on December 5.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Grizzly Bear.

NYC Taper is sharing another The Mountain Goats live recording from last week.

Pitchfork talks to Sharon Van Etten about making her recent video for “Magic Chords”; Varsity just talks to her about whatever.

DIY has a feature interview with Savoir Adore.

The San Francisco Chronicle and CBC Music chat with Joey Burns of Calexico while The 405 also ropes John Covertino into their conversation.

NPR talks to Benjamin Gibbard.

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Titus Andronicus VS. the Absurd Universe (3rd Round KO)

Titus Andronicus say it’s time for Local Business; it’s Local Business time

Photo By Kyle Dean ReinfordKyle Dean ReinfordMuch has changed for New Jersey punks Titus Andronicus since they unleashed the grandiose historical allegory/saga of The Monitor on the world in 2010. On the plus side, the success of that record raised their profile by an exponential degree, expanding their audience well beyond the dudes looking for a soundtrack to their mosh pit demographic. But on the down side, after they wrapped the heavy touring regimen in support of The Monitor, guitarist Amy Klein – who despite not being on the record was a crucial part of their intense live shows – left the band for her own project in Leda. And on top of that, an ill-fated late 2011 rehearsal left them down one mighty beard when frontman Patrick Stickles was electrocuted. He survived; the facial hair did not.

STill, they’ve soldiered on and already made a new record which they’ve dubbed Local Business, and while there’s little chance that it’ll will be quite as epic in scope or ambition as The Monitor – that’s not mathematically possible – it should offer more than the requisite amount of furious melody, righteous riffing, and dense lyricism. And it also gives them an excuse to get back on the road. The record is out October 22 and they’ve already put together a Fall tour and are bringing New York Bay area punks Ceremony with them for the ride. They’re at Lee’s Palace on November 27, tickets $18.50.

MP3: Titus Andronicus – “Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape with the Flood of Detritus”
MP3: Ceremony – “Hysteria”
Lyric Video: Titus Andronicus – “In A Big City”

That new Yo La Tengo single “Stupid Things” is now available to download. The new full-length is out next January.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Stupid Things”

Perfume Genius has released a new video from Put Your Back N 2 It, just in time for tonight’s show at 918 Bathurst. Pitchfork talks to Mike Hadreas about the video.

Video: Perfume Genius – “Take Me Home”

Paste are streaming a new song from Savoir Adore’s forthcoming Our Nature, out October 16, and God Is In The TV has a video session with the band. They’re in town at Rancho Relaxo on October 13.

Stream: Savoir Adore – “Empire Of Light”

The Atlantic, Interview, Buzzfeed, Stereogum, Pitchfork, and The Thread all have features on The Mountain Goats as they mark the release of their latest album, Transcendental Youth. They play The Phoenix on October 20.

Spinner, The Wall Street Journal, The Irish Independent, HitFix, and Denver Westword talk to Aimee Mann. She’s at The Danforth Music Hall on November 6.

The 405 has got a stream of the first new Saturday Looks Good To Me song in who knows how long, available on 7″ come November 6 and presumably appearing on their new record One Kiss Ends It All, which is slated for a Spring 2013 release.

Stream: Saturday Looks Good To Me – “Sunglasses”

Rumours of a new Sufjan Stevens Christmas set have been kicking around for a little while, and now they’re confirmed. The super-fancy Silver & Gold box set of five EPs – yes, just like the Songs For Christmas set – will be out November 13. Stream one of the selections below.

Stream: Sufjan Stevens – “Christmas Unicorn”

I’m not entirely sure what the deal with Death Grips is, but people seem to care when they spontaneously cancel entire tours or leak their new album without telling their label first. So those same people may be interested to know that they’re hitting the road – unless they cancel again – and will be at Wrongbar on November 18.

MP3: Death Grips – “Deep Web”

Critical Mob and The Awl talk to Mark Eitzel, coming to town for a show at The Rivoli on November 28.

Pitchfork has details on the new record from Memory Tapes, to be entitled Grace/Confusion and due out on December 4. A first MP3 from the album is already available to download.

MP3: Memory Tapes – “Shelia”

Band Of Horses chat with Drowned In Sound and Metro Pulse. They play Massey Hall on December 5.

Paul Westerberg has told Rolling Stone that he and Tommy Stinson – the only Replacements still alive and active in music – have recorded a limited edition covers EP which will be auctioned off later this year to raise funds for former guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke back in February. And yeah, I guess they’re calling it The Replacements – so that’s happened.

Divine Fits have released a first video from their debut, A Thing Called Divine Fits.

Video: Divine Fits – “Would That Not Be Nice”

Vulture delves into the life, times, and finances of Grizzly Bear. The Skinny, Portland Monthly, and Pitchfork also have features.

Spin has posted an extensive feature piece on Dinosaur Jr, including a sidebar about how J Mascis almost joined Nirvana and Built To Spill back in the day.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews Beachwood Sparks.

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Hilltop Procession (Momentum Gaining)

Olivia Tremor Control reload grass cannons for tour

Photo via Cloud REcordingsCloud RecordingsI don’t think anyone really expected 2011 to be any sort of banner year for fans of the Elephant 6 American psychedelic pop movement of the 1990s, but that’s what it’s turned out to be. The Holiday Surprise tour back in March seemed like a late Christmas gift filled with members and songs from Elf Power, Music Tapes, Sunshine Fix and Circulatory System as well as much of their extended family. And though the Jeff Mangum sightings many hoped for didn’t happen, any ensuing disappointment was tossed out the window when the reclusive songwriter scheduled a series of North American live dates starting later this Summer, his first proper shows in many, many years.

And now, we’ve got scene founders Olivia Tremor Control back in action. Okay, they’ve technically been back in action since around 2005 or so, but only intermittently and in one-off fashion; certainly there hasn’t been anything in the way of a proper tour – until now. With a few festival dates on the calendar, Will Cullen Hart, Bill Doss and company have decided to make the most of rehearsals and slate a proper tour this Fall, wherein they’ll play old favourites and preview material from a new album that is allegedly in the works. Toronto will get its first OTC show since, like, 1999 on September 16 at Lee’s Palace, so if you were trying to decide which Wilco show to go to and are an Elephant 6 fan, well your decision just got a bit easier.

MP3: Olivia Tremor Control – “Hideaway” (live in Athens, GA – April 15, 2005)

And speaking of those Wilco shows, presales for both the September 16 and 17 shows at Massey Hall are set for next Wednesday, July 13, at 10AM. The appropriate links will go up on their website in due course, I would imagine.

If for whatever reason you weren’t able to catch Eleanor Friedberger’s free show at the Horseshoe on the evening of July 19 – early morning meeting, who knows – you may be pleased to know that she’ll be doing an in-store at Soundscapes that afternoon at 5:30PM. Her solo album Last Summer is also up to stream in its entirety at NPR in advance of its release next week.

MP3: Eleanor Friedberger – “My Mistakes”
Stream: Eleanor Friedberger / Last Summer

If you missed their two Mod Club shows last month – like I did on account of the sick – then happy days, Sloan will be playing a free show at Ontario Place’s Echo Beach on August 5. That’s right – free. Sun, sand, Sloan. And if the weather doesn’t cooperate, rain, mud and Sloan. But still free. And if you missed it yesterday, they’ve released a new video from the excellent Double Cross.

Video: Sloan – “Unkind”

Pop scion and generally bearded and sweaty mess – though a wholly entertaining one – Liam Finn will be at Lee’s Palace on September 22 in support of his new album Fomo. Stuff and The Australian have interviews.

Video: Liam Finn – “Cold Feet”

Cults have been added as support for Foster The People’s show at The Sound Academy on October 1. It’s like the sound of 2011 – like it or not – on the waterfront. The headliners, meanwhile, are featured in an NPR World Cafe session.

MP3: Cults – “Most Wanted”

Ladytron are returning with their new record Gravity The Seducer on September 13 and are returning to North America shortly thereafter; look for them at The Phoenix on October 5.

MP3: Ladytron – “Playgirl”

Though it’s taken him a while to do so, Sam Beam brings Iron & Wine back to Toronto in support of Kiss Each Other Clean on October 15 at The Sound Academy.

MP3: Iron & Wine – “Belated Promise Ring”

Cold War Kids return for a date at The Phoenix on November 4, ticket $20.50 in advance.

Video: Cold War Kids – “Audience”

There’s no firm details on their new record – only that it’s coming – but French electronicists M83 have already put together a North American tour in support of it; look for them at Lee’s Palace on November 18.

Video: M83 – “Graveyard Girl”

Spin talks to Girls about their new record Father, Son, Holy Ghost, which has been announced with a September 13 release date.

NOW has word with My Morning Jacket, in town at The Kool Haus on Monday night, July 11.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have released a new video from Belong; they have an in-store at Sonic Boom on August 1 at 9PM and play the Opera House the following evening.

Video: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “The Body”

The clip for the new Strokes single is some cutting-edge ’90s video editing technology, yo.

Video: The Strokes – “Taken For A Fool”

Sufjan Stevens is giving away the MP3 and premiering the video for the new and probably last single from The Age Of Adz.

MP3: Sufjan Stevens – “Get Real Get Right”
Video: Sufjan Stevens – “Get Real Get Right”

Warpaint have premiered a new video from The Fool; NPR talks to the director of the super-underwater clip. The Birmingham Post talks to frontwoman Emily Kokal.

Video: Warpaint – “Warpaint”